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Planning for Nature based Solutions in Singapore

Project 1: Campus Ecosystem Service Assessment 

 

Universities are at the frontlines to push the ecosystem services (ES) agenda due to their unique position in society. As Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pursues its sustainability goals, this project aims to assess the state of the art of integrated ES assessment for university campuses and conduct a historical assessment of ES of the NTU campus. 

Project leads: Perrine Hamel

Publications (forthcoming/published)

  • Cheng (2021). Ecosystem services assessments on university campuses: A review

Project 2: Vacant Land in Singapore

 

In contrast to places where land is in greater abundance and land vacancy is less valued, the value of vacant land in population dense cities like Singapore is much higher because vacant land perceivably serves multiple purposes and potentialities. Other than market value for development, anecdotal evidence suggests that vacant lots in Singapore are used for recreation, community events, safe gathering spots in case of fire, and simply as critical breathing rooms in a high-rise and high-density city. Among the different kinds of vacant lots, green spaces have also shown strong evidence to support good mental health (White et al. 2021). Further, research about the value of urban vacant land for ecosystem services, for example by Gardiner et al. (2013), Kim et al. (2015), and Riley et al. (2017) have also indicated that vacant land can also provide potential and actual ecosystem services (e.g., air purification, heat mitigation, carbon sequestration).

 

The evidence illustrates the importance of comprehensive and systematic assessment of the valuation of land vacancy alongside its market value, particularly where the pressure on land development is high and urban planning decisions need to be strategic to economic, social, and environmental well-being. At the present, vacant land in Singapore appears to be valued mainly on its potential exchange value, rather than its full value that would include its actual and potential use value. 

In this project, our goal is to arrive at a robust methodology to help assess the full value of vacancy that integrates economic value with other types of values including social and ecological values. The plan is to first create an inventory of urban vacant land in Singapore to understand the locations and the kinds of vacancy. After this is done, we plan to select sites to conduct empirical fieldwork to systematically document and understand the uses and users, as well as the ecosystem of those locations. 

Project leads: Felicity Chan (SSS) and Perrine Hamel (ASE)